A complete list of our policies are available at the Circulation Desk and are available to everyone.
- Public computers are available, and can be reserved up to two days in advance by library card holders. Reservations may be made in the library, at the Computer Reservation & Print Station only.
- The Express stations (15 Minutes per session) near the Circulation Desk downstairs cannot be reserved in advance, but if all three are in use patrons can sign up to wait for them.
- In the Reference area upstairs there are 8 PCs, and 1 Sight Impaired computer station for adult library card holder use only (one hour per session). The same applies to the 2 PCs in the Young Adult area, which should only be used by young adults (school-age, 10 – 18).
- A separate Children’s area has 6 PCs available for children only (one hour per session).
- There are 3 PCs reserved for library catalog (CLAMS) use in the downstairs of the library, and 1 in the reference area upstairs.
- For laptop-users, there are tables with wiring to the public network (internet/WWW) where any visitor to the library can plug in a personal laptop, and wireless access is available throughout the building.
- All of the public computers (except those reserved for library catalog (CLAMS) use) in the library have both word processing and internet capability.
- Printing costs .20 cents per page for black & white copies, and .40 cents per page for color copies. Patrons may print from any of our public computers by sending a print job to the Computer Reservation & Print Station and using an Oak Bluffs Library Card or a Photocopy/Print Card with sufficient funds on it.
Ten Important Computer Tips
These ten computer tips will ensure that you have an enjoyable experience using the library’s public computers:
- Log-on to an open computer with your library barcode number: If you do not have a library card, you may get one downstairs. People without library cards may use the (3) Express Computers Downstairs by signing on with their first name instead of a library barcode number).
- Always log-on with your library barcode number/name, and if someone has forgotten to log-off the computer please log them off and then log-on with your number/name.
- If all of the computers are in use, log-on to the Computer Reservation & Print Station to get in line for a computer.
- You must use your photocopy/print card or library card to print.
- Estimated wait times are not exact — come back every 10 min to check your reservation.
- If you do not log-on to your computer reservation within 10 min of it becoming available, you will lose your reservation!
- If you need to leave your computer for any reason, you may lock the computer for 10 min. Press Ctrl-Alt-Delete and choose Lock Computer. Warning — if you are not back in 10 min or less you will be logged off your computer.
- You must save documents as an attachment to your email account or zip drive. Documents saved to the computer will be lost after log-off.
- These computers shut-off ten minutes before closing time, have a plan in place for saving your documents before this time, or you may lose your work!
- As a courtesy to those waiting in line, Please log-off your computer when you are finished.
Please use cell phones in the foyers at the entrance ways.
When a behavior of a patron constitutes a disruption which interferes with the use of the library by other patrons or with a staff member’s carrying out his/her duties, the following steps will be taken:
- Issue a verbal warning that if the behavior in question does not cease the patron will be asked to leave.
- Request that the patron leave the library.
- If patron refuses to leave, inform him/her that the police will be called.
- Call the police.
- If the offender is an unaccompanied juvenile, staff may elect to call the child’s parent in lieu of police.
- A habitual juvenile offender may be barred from using the library except in the company of a parent.
- When a parent is present but is unable or unwilling to elicit suitable behavior from his/her child, he/she will be asked to remove the child from the building.
- A patron who repeatedly fails to conform to behavior standards may be denied access permanently.
Any time a staff member feels that a patron’s behavior threatens the safety of another patron or staff members, the staff member in charge will call the police immediately.
Unacceptable Behaviors Include:
- Disruptive behavior.
- Excessive noise.
- Abuse of library materials, furnishings, building.
- Fighting or challenging to a fight, running, pushing, shoving or throwing things.
- Unwelcome attentions or interactions with other patrons or staff.
- Consuming food or beverage (outside of designated or program areas).
- Soliciting or conducting surveys not authorized by the Library.
Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees February 21, 2007
Emergency Closing Policy
Inclement Weather/Emergency Closing
The Library is a public service institution, and every effort is made to maintain regular hours for the public. The Library will be closed only when weather conditions deteriorate to the point where traveling is hazardous, when vital equipment in the building fails or when there is a general emergency in the town of Oak Bluffs. The decision to close the Library will be based upon:
- General conditions of roads in Oak Bluffs.
- Condition of the Library’s parking lots and walkways.
- Availability of staff to open and operate the Library. Minimal staffing levels are defined as three staff members in the building at all times.
- Condition of the building’s equipment.
- Requests for closure by local or state agencies.
Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees November 14, 2006
The Internet is a global electronic network without local, state, or federal control over its contents. It offers access to material that is personally, professionally, and culturally enriching, but it also contains inaccurate as well as controversial material.
The Oak Bluffs Public Library offers the public “unfiltered” Internet access. Our staff does not monitor usage. Parents and guardians have the right and responsibility to monitor their child’s use of library resources, including the Internet.
Members of the public shall not use the Internet in any way that violates federal or state laws and regulations. Nor shall they use the Internet in any manner that disrupts, harasses, or annoys others, or violates their rights.
Child Safety Policy
The Oak Bluffs Public Library welcomes children to use its facilities and services. The Library
recognizes its obligation to consider the safety and welfare of children while they are in the
library. Many children are capable of using the library on their own, and should not be
discouraged from doing so. However, parents should remember that the library is a public
building available for anyone to use. Public libraries, by their nature, are subject to “stranger
danger” and are not necessarily safe for unattended children.
Parents must be aware of the following:
● Children under the age of eight (8) must be accompanied and directly supervised at all
times by a parent/guardian/caregiver..
○ Accompanied is defined as “within sight”.
○ A responsible caregiver is defined as an individual over the age of twelve who is
entrusted with the care of the minor child.
● The Library should not be used as an alternative to daycare. Children may use the library
unattended for no more than four hours within any calendar day.
● The Oak Bluffs Public Library assumes no responsibility for children of any age left
unattended at the library. The responsibility for the care, safety, and behavior of children
using the Library rests with the parent/guardian/caregiver and not with library staff
● Parents/guardians/caregivers should familiarize themselves with the library hours, and
should not leave children at the Library before opening or after closing.
● The Library assumes no responsibility for children outside the building at any time.
● Parents/guardians/caregivers assume all liability for damage done by their children to the
library facility, equipment, and materials. Parents/guardians/caregivers should also
realize that even in their absence they are legally responsible for their children’s behavior.
If a child is alone within the library building at closing, library staff will attempt to call a
parent/guardian/caregiver. If staff cannot reach a parent/guardian/caregiver, and a period of thirty
minutes after the closing of the children’s floor has elapsed, the person in charge will call the
police to assume responsibility for the child. Two (salaried) staff members will remain with the
child inside the library until a parent/guardian/caregiver or police arrive. Library policy will be
explained and a copy of the written policy will be given to the parent/guardian/caregiver. Under no
circumstances will library staff transport or take a child away from the library building.
A valid library card provides computer privileges which allow access to the Internet.
Parents/guardians/caregivers should know that the Oak Bluffs Public Library does not employ
Internet filtering software on its public Internet access computers. It is the responsibility of the
parent/guardian/caregiver to ensure that their child does not access sites that may be
inappropriate or potentially harmful to the child.
Adults are not permitted to use the computers in the childrens’ area of the library. Adults
supervising children in the library may speak with library staff members about alternatives for
Behavior Guidelines for Minors
The parent/guardian/caregiver is responsible for ensuring the appropriate behavior of their children in the library, whether they are present with their child or not. Disruptive behavior is behavior that is inappropriate in a library setting. Disruptive behavior that is unacceptable in the Library includes, but is not limited to:
● Running, chasing, horseplay
● Inappropriate language
● Screaming, shouting, or other noise
● Eating or drinking in non-designated areas
● Abnormal, erratic behavior that hinders normal library use
● Continued or frequent loud talking in computer area
● Pushing, hitting, fighting, biting
● Prolonged crying or temper tantrums
● Bullying or bothering other people
Library staff will approach disruptive children in the following manner:
1) Give a verbal warning to the child indicating that such behavior is unacceptable.
A. In the case of a minor accompanied by an adult, library staff will approach the
parent or caregiver with the same warning.
2) If the behavior continues, give the child and/or parent or caregiver a second warning.
3) If the disruptive behavior persists, library staff will request the parent or guardian to
escort the child from the library premises. Unattended disruptive children may be asked to
leave the library after two warnings. In such instances, parents will be contacted or, if the
parent is unavailable, police assistance will be utilized.
Adopted by the Library Board of Trustees October 16, 2013
Facilities Use Policy
This policy is to inform interested parties of the rules and regulations for room use.
Oak Bluffs Library Meeting/Conference Room Policy Statement
In support of the library’s goals and mission statement, the purpose of the Oak Bluffs Library’s meeting and conference room is to provide a place for events which are intended in enrich lives and encourage education.
Use will be granted to qualified official and community groups and individuals for civic, educational, and cultural meetings and events in accordance with Meeting/Conference Room Policy. Meetings must be open to all members of the general public without charge.
Oak Bluffs Library Meeting/Conference Room Policy
The library meeting and conference room may be used for civic, educational and cultural meetings. Neither the Meeting room nor the Conference room is available for private parties, religious services, or commercial endeavors.
Only fundraising events benefiting the Library are permitted.
Use of meeting or conference room for Library purposes takes precedence over all other uses except for use by the Selectmen.
Conference Room: Regular library service must take precedence over all other activities and the use of the meeting space must not interfere with the operation of the Library. The room houses the library’s historical collection in a locked case, and staff may need access to it while a meeting is taking place. Note that maximum capacity is 16 people (including presenters).
Meeting space in the Conference Room is only available during regular library hours. All use of the Conference Room must begin after the Library has opened to the public and the room must be cleared 10 minutes before scheduled closing time.
Meeting Room: This room is available after hours if needed, at the discretion of the Staff. When using the room after hours, the rest of the library will be locked and therefore not accessible. Note that maximum capacity is 68 people.
Oak Bluffs Public Library Meeting/Conference Room Rules
- The Meeting/Conference Room is available during public service hours and must be vacated 15 minutes before library closing.
- The person requesting use of a meeting room will be held responsible for the orderly conduct of the group and for any loss of, or damage to, Library property.
- Light refreshments may be served only in the Meeting Room, and must be confined to the Meeting Room. If refreshments are to be served, a $50 cleaning fee is required at the time of reservation. Coffee pots, cups, plates, paper goods, etc. must be provided by the group reserving the Room. Alcoholic beverages of any type may not be brought into, served, or consumed on the Library’s premises.
- Organizations must use the Meeting Room as furnished. Organizations are responsible for leaving the room in the condition they found it. Organizations are responsible for their own room setup (set up of chairs, tables and equipment may be needed.)
- The Library’s program rooms are available on a first-come, first-served basis provided that meetings conform to Meeting Room Policy and do not conflict with library services and programs.
- Reservations must be made either online, using the Reservation form, or on the paper (hard copy) Room Reservation Form. The form, available online or at the Circulation Desk, will be logged in by an OBPL staff member, who will then contact the organizer about the event. The room reservation is not complete until you have spoken with an OBPL staff member, and the reservation is confirmed via email or in writing.
- The Sponsor must be present and responsible at all times during the meeting. This person will be responsible for the conduct of the group, paying bills, and protection of library property in connection with the meeting. The Sponsor will also be responsible for any training in the use of Meeting Room equipment in advance of the meeting.
- Users are assumed to be familiar with the operation of the equipment in advance of the meeting. If instruction is needed, staff may be available in advance at a mutually convenient date and time. Staff may not be available prior to or during a meeting.
- Cancellations: the Library must be notified 24 hours before the event.
Exceptions to the rules may be made at the discretion of the Library Director and/or the Library Board of Trustees.
This policy has been created so that the Staff can maintain a balanced program schedule, bring high-quality and well-attended programs to the community, and so we stay true to our core mission.
Programming is an integral component of library service that expands the Library’s role as a community resource, introduces patrons and non-users to Library resources, provides entertainment and opportunities for lifelong learning, expands the visibility of the library, and brings the community together. The Library is dedicated to connecting people with ideas and information through programs that facilitate learning, provide information, and entertain.
In order to develop a robust, inspiring, informative, and unique set of programs specific to the OBPL, we seek programs that offer new ideas to our patrons and community that may not be offered by other libraries, and are relevant to the community.
Programming space is limited, especially during the busy summer season. For that reason, use of the facility is at the discretion of the Staff. The Library’s staff uses the following criteria in making decisions about program topics, speakers, and accompanying resources:
- Program content & treatment of content for intended audience
- Relevance to community interests, needs, and issues
- Availability of program space
- Presentation quality
- Historical or educational significance
- Connection to other community programs, exhibitions or events
- Relation to Library collections, resources, exhibits, and programs
- Presenter background/qualifications in content area
Room use is prioritized by Library programs, Town Department and Committee meetings, and all other groups. Room use is for non-profit groups only. See the Facilities Use Policy for further details. Programs may be held on site at any Library agency, or off-site. Programs may not be used for commercial, religious, or partisan purposes, or the solicitation of business.
The Library draws upon other community resources in developing programs and actively partners with other community agencies, organizations, educational and cultural institutions, and individuals in order to develop and present co-sponsored public programs.
Library sponsorship of a program does not constitute an endorsement of the content of the program or the views expressed by participants, and program topics, speakers and resources are not excluded from programs because of possible controversy.
The Library welcomes expressions of opinions from the community concerning programming. Attendees are welcome to fill out a program survey after the program, so that we may better serve you in the future. The Library’s programs are a collaborative effort between Staff members and the community. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to suggest a program.
Programming Requests Procedure for the Public
A room request form must be filled out in the Library. Permission must be granted by the Director or Staff before a program is entered on the calendar and made official. Room use will not be guaranteed without first going through the aforementioned steps.